Day care

Day care is for patients who need more prolonged treatment or investigations than outpatients, but who do not need to stay in the hospital overnight. 

If you are a day care patient you will need to spend part or all of a day at the hospital.

The ward or clinic you have been attending will book your day care appointment. Remember that you might need to visit more than one department on that day.

Please note that several of our day care areas are mixed sex and you may be cared for in a mixed-sex area if your particular treatment doesn't require you to change out of your clothes.

Preparing for your appointment

We will let you know before you arrive (either at the time your appointment is booked or by letter) whether you need to make any special preparations for your treatment or investigation. For example, you might be asked not to eat anything immediately before you come to the hospital.

We will also let you know if you need to attend an outpatient appointment before reporting to your day care area.

If you are having an operation, it’s important that you have a shower or bath on the day of your admission. This is to help minimise the risk of infection.

When you arrive

When you arrive in your day care area you should report to the reception desk.

The length of time you will need to spend at the hospital will depend on the investigation or treatment you are having. You are likely to be at the hospital for a minimum of four hours, but you should be prepared to be here all day. The nurse looking after you will be able to tell you what time you can expect to leave, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Day care for chemotherapy

If your treatment involves chemotherapy you may be offered a ‘bleep’ (a pager) so that you can walk around the hospital while your treatment is being prepared. It may also be possible for you to leave the hospital while you wait. Staff will contact you when your treatment is ready.

You will receive your treatment on a reclining chair in a day care area. A sandwich meal will be provided in most areas.